From Galle we caught the 32 bus heading east towards Tissaharama. It cost only 210 SLR for us together (that’s around £1) for a 90km journey. After some initial confusion (there are different sections for arriving and departing at Galle bus station, and the departing bus we needed, was, of course, on the other side from where we were looking…!) we were pointed in the right way by the ever eager-to-help locals, and were on our merry way. The bus was busy, but comfortable, and the driver took us on a musical journey too through some top reggae/ska/dub/Bhangra/panjahbi tunes on his CD sound system! The wind came in through the open windows and kept us cool, no need for air conditioning.
It was a Poya day, or a full moon day, and that means a public holiday for Sri Lankans. This particular Poya day celebrates when Buddhism was first brought to the island from India. It is a huge celebration, second only to the Buddahs birthday (or Vesak) that lasts two full days, and actually fell the month before when Rich first arrived. He tells me they lined the streets with lights and the Buddhist orange, yellow, and blue flag. People also make and hang their own Vesak candles, the delicate paper lanterns laced with intricate patterns.
On Poya days, the roads are busy, with what seemed to us like whole villages of people piled on slow moving tractors. Red tents giving out free icecream pop up on main road sides, some even giving out full meals of fragrant curries and rice. Huge orange flags are proudly waved out into the road to mark these Poya stations. Children set up their own stations giving out juice. Boxes of biscuits are passed between cars and tuk tuks. Everywhere is colour and generosity.
Three hours later, we jumped out at the Netolpitiya Junction- a short tuk tuk away from what would become our home for the next four nights…
Hope you’re well,
Stay breezey 🌼
Ps. Once again, sorry for lack of photos due to the lack of finding fast internet out here, there will be many more when we get back in three weeks or so!